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Friday 15 December 2017

Seventh heaven for Dubliners as they shine in Leaving Cert

Ciara Laird hugs her mother Jenny Murphy
Ciara Laird hugs her mother Jenny Murphy

Dublin students have led the way in securing the highest achievable grades in the Leaving Cert.

Of the 13 star students who secured eight H1 grades this year - the grade replaced the A1 - seven were from the capital.

It means Dublin has produced more than half of the country's highest academic achievers in the state exam.

By contrast, there was not a single student who secured eight H1s in Ireland's second city, Cork.

Countrywide, the number who achieved eight top marks in their exams was almost double the 2016 figure, which was seven.

Shock

Among the star students was Elizabeth Bulger, who was shaking with disbelief yesterday morning after getting her results.

The Loreto College, St Stephen's Green, student got her perfect score, totalling 625 points.

Now part of a very exclusive club, the Rathmines local said she was in total shock.

"I feel so happy, it's over - I couldn't sleep at all last night and was just talking online," she said.

"I don't want to be blowing my own trumpet, but my daughter just got eight H1s," her mother, who was bursting with pride outside the school, said.

Kate Collins with her mother Norah Rice at their home in Clontarf, Dublin. Photo: Collins
Kate Collins with her mother Norah Rice at their home in Clontarf, Dublin. Photo: Collins

The 18-year-old plans to study maths and business at Trinity College later this year.

Loreto principal Jackie Dempsey congratulated Elizabeth on her achievement.

She said: "She worked very hard throughout the year and we're all very proud of her."

Another academic superstar is 17-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud from Ballycullen.

The Ashfield College student said he had a busy morning after getting his results.

He said: "It's been a busy day so far. I'm delighted with my results. I worked hard over the years. I studied a lot and I stayed after school for study too. I put in a lot of effort and you get out what you put in."

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education with (from left) Sarah Farrelly, Aisling Williams and Faye Donnolly at Maryfield College, Drumcondra after they received their Leaving Cert results
Richard Bruton, Minister for Education with (from left) Sarah Farrelly, Aisling Williams and Faye Donnolly at Maryfield College, Drumcondra after they received their Leaving Cert results

He got the highest possible grade in English, mathematics, geography, French, applied mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

Muhammad hopes to start medicine at UCD.

He said: "My parents are delighted. My mum really motivated me and I got a lot of support from all the teachers."

He didn't know what his plans were for celebration night but said he will probably meet up with his friends.

"Not many of them know yet but the ones that do have congratulated me and I thanked them for that.

"Hopefully more will know as it's early in the morning and news will spread," Muhammad added.

He said he also went to the gym a couple of times a week to take a break from his studies.

Ashfield College principal, John Winters, said: "We are delighted for Muhammad and it is a completely deserved result.

"From the moment Muhammad joined us in 5th year he applied himself to the task of achieving excellent results, and was engaged in class and with his peers. We have many exceptional Leaving Certificate results here today but Muhammad's a stand-out."

Oisin McEnroe from Sandycove, got his eight H1s in the three sciences, mathematics, applied mathematics, design and computer graphics and French.

"I'm really delighted and very happy," the 18-year-old student added.

The high achiever from Blackrock College also plays piano and double bass. He said: "My family and friends are all very happy for me."

Oisin attributed his success to "lots of study" and now aims to start theoretical physics at Trinity.

He's already been inter-railing to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Krakow but plans to take a family holiday in Lisbon before starting college.

Another Dubliner, Ben Healy, from Killcock, studied at Castleknock College and opened the results at the school this morning.

Ben (18), said he was "shocked" by the eight H1s.

He said: "I thought I'd do well but I didn't think I'd do that well."

Ben studied English, Irish, maths, biology, chemistry, German, applied maths and history at the school and is looking forward to attending UCD in September.

"I'm looking to study economics and finance at UCD. I'm going to meet up with relatives soon and go in to town with my friends later. It's great."

Principal Oliver Murphy said he was delighted for Ben, who is a "lovely kid".

Ecstatic

He said: "I'm ecstatic and over the moon for Ben. He's such a lovely kid."

Ben won the school's Student of the Year prize this year, so it came as no surprise to the principal that he was so successful in his exams.

"I taught one class a week with Ben and I'd ask him if he had a question because sometimes he'd just stop what he was doing and he'd say 'No, I'm just thinking. He was such a deep thinker and so kind," he added.

Kate Collins (18), studied English, Irish, maths, German, applied maths, history, physics and chemistry at Holyfaith Secondary School in Clontarf - and got top marks.

She said: "We hadn't made any plans but everyone is really happy so we'll go out tonight to celebrate."

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